The Imposter Syndrome: Health & Fitness

Sometimes I feel like a fake.

It’s easy to pretend that you know just what to do about health and fitness, because, well, I do know. I know how to eat to lose weight, I know what to eat that’s the most healthy. I know how to burn calories. I’ve taken enough exercise classes to know what I like, what I don’t, what helps me see results and what just does nothing for me.

So it would be easy to ask: Well, why am I still fat?

Why do I still have cravings for Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra ice cream?

Why can’t I just eat perfectly healthfully all the time and get my arse off the couch and exercise each and every day?

Those feelings, and those questions, can definitely make me feel like an imposter.

I write about health and fitness on this blog, and I post photos of the yummy watermelon I eat for snacks, and I talk about how good working out makes me feel.

watermelon

Snacks!

But I’m not perfect.

I’m human.

And I still want a chocolate chip cookie from time to time, gosh darn it. And pizza. Lord knows about my love affair with pizza.

Hard to resist a sweet potato cupcake from JoZetti's bakery in Montgomery!

Hard to resist a sweet potato cupcake from JoZetti’s bakery in Montgomery!

There’s a lot of talk about what we see on social media and how it’s the “best” side of us, not the “real” side of us. And it’s so true. I try to be open and honest and the real  me — I try not to hide when I’m struggling or when I feel like a failure.

I also try to show myself grace and not assign feelings like guilt or shame to food or skipping a workout. Just because I don’t eat fruit and veggies and lean protein all the time doesn’t make me bad. But there are a lot of times when, as someone who wants to be healthier more often, I can feel fake when I do indulge or I do get lazy.

The solace I take is that we all do it. Very few people are on their game 24/7. And beating ourselves up, or judging others, doesn’t help anything. In fact, studies show that shaming others for their eating or exercise habits actually does more harm than good.

So it’s OK to feel like an imposter sometimes, and other times feel like an expert on health and fitness. You can be both. You can find success in the trying. You can celebrate the little victories and stop talking negatively to yourself when you do something you feel like you shouldn’t.

I know I can, too. And I’m right here with you trying.

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